Lodge Fortrose has teamed up with Western Isles Association for Mental Health (WIAMH) and the Volunteer Centre Western Isles to fund a series of Mental Health First Aid training courses for up to 40 individuals and community volunteers. 

The course advocates that the concept of first aid can effectively be applied to mental illness in the same way as first aid is delivered in response to physical illness or trauma. The course will give participants an in depth understanding of the factors which can affect mental health wellbeing and provide practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.

Lodge Fortrose have provided funding of £2000, which includes £1000 from the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s Covid Relief Challenge Fund, towards the cost of delivering the courses. The courses will be available on a no-cost basis to local organisations and individuals to support the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henry W Macinnes, Master of Lodge Fortrose, said: “Our members recognise that the mental health impacts of lockdown and the inevitable economic contraction will become a real issue. With this in mind the Lodge is working with local voluntary partners to reinforce community resilience through the delivery of Scottish Mental Health First Aid training.”

Rebecca Mahony, Project Manager for WIAMH, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to deliver mental health training to staff and volunteers from voluntary and third sector organisations across the Western Isles as a direct result of this project funding. 

"We believe this will be a really positive community led initiative that will directly benefit people throughout the Western Isles who are experiencing mental illness of mental health issues as a direct or indirect result of the Covid-19 crisis.” 

Suzanne Macaulay, Manager of Volunteer Centre Western Isles, said: “The role and value of volunteers has never been more apparent than over the last few months, where volunteers have led the response to community needs during lockdown. We are delighted to work in partnership with Lodge Fortrose and WIAMH to support this valuable training.”

Members of Lodge Fortrose with Suzanne Macaulay, Volunteer Centre Western Isles, and Rebecca Mahony, Western Isles Association for Mental Health.